ReFo: Jaguars @ Chargers, Week 4
Coming off a humbling string of losses, the Jacksonville Jaguars had hopes stoked with a lead in this game through the first 29 minutes, but a second deep Rivers-to-Royal touchdown before the half salted that and San Diego walked on from there, adding another 16 to pull away in the second half.
Jaguar rookie Blake Bortles felt his way through his first start at the helm, putting some positives on tape and efficiently completing 29 of his 37 attempts — however conservative they were (24 went to targets less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage). If looking for a more aggressive example, Bortles just needed to watch when the Chargers had the ball as his counterpart, Philip Rivers, took every chance to air it out and connected on more than half of his long shots.
In the end, it was San Diego’s game to have as they maintained the pace in the AFC West.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Performances of Note
Sen’Derrick Marks, DT: +4.3
Breakdown: Marks made his mark as a pass rusher on Sunday, landing a +3.1 grade after filling his sheet with a sack, a hit and three hurries. Also picking up a positive for his work as a run defender (+1.1), he earned his first green grade of the year and his first dating back to Week 13 of last season.
Signature Play: On San Diego’s second play from scrimmage (Q1, 14.12), Marks darted inside of left Charger guard Chad Rinehart and met teammate Red Bryant at the top of the drop to take Rivers down for the sack.
Geno Hayes, LB: +2.9 (run defense)
Breakdown: Hayes led the Jaguar defense with six stops, five of them coming against the run. For the second consecutive week, Hayes finds himself at the top of the 4-3 OLB run stop charts and he’s climbing the ranks in run defense grades as well, currently sitting sixth with a few games still to come in.
Signature Stat: His six run stops last week tied him for the Week 3 lead and this week’s addition has him in good company among the Top 5 at his position for the year.
Sam Young, RT: -0.3
Breakdown: An uneven day for Jacksonville’s right tackle in his second start saw him post a +2.6 as a pass blocker – no pressures allowed on 42 pass-blocking snaps — and a -2.2 as a run blocker.
Signature Play: Young had a shot at helping his team across the goal line early in the second quarter (14:26), but let linebacker Donald Butler slip off his block and get to the runner just in time to prevent the score.
San Diego Chargers – Performances of Note
Philip Rivers, QB: +3.4 (passing)
Breakdown: Rivers sent 15 passes longer than 10 yards downfield in this game, hitting on 11 of them including four of his seven shots of 20 yards plus. Three of those deep balls went for scores and were all a part of his 25-of-31 day when not pressured.
Signature Play: Q3 11:15; A thing of beauty, Rivers’ third touchdown pass was dropped in to the outstretched hands of Malcom Floyd at the right side of the end zone.
Brandon Flowers, CB: +5.2
Breakdown: Flowers highlighted his day with a clean pick of a Bortles pass midway through the third quarter, but equally impressive was his habit for bringing down receivers on routes running under the defense. Three times he came up with tackles that limited the Jags to, at most, short gains.
Signature Stat: With back-to-back outstanding days in coverage – grading higher in each of his past two games than he has since the middle of 2011 — Flowers is proving quite the addition to San Diego’s secondary.
Dwight Freeney, OLB: +3.4 (pass rush)
Breakdown: Collecting a pair of hits to go with four hurries, Freeney had his way with Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel. Rushing primarily from the right side (22 of his 24 pass-rushing snaps), Freeney earned a Pass Rushing Productivity mark of 20.5 from that side this week and his 22 total pressures leads his position group on the year.
Signature Play: At the 8:04 mark of the second quarter, Freeney broke out his signature spin move on Joeckel and flushed Bortles from the pocket.
PFF Game Ball
Whether picking at the defense with needling jabs or striking over the top, Philip Rivers had his way and earned this game ball.
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